Your decision for buying one of the big three tablets, Android, Kindle or iPad used to be based around the cost and the design and specs of the hardware, but this is becoming less and less important compared to the range of services each one is tied to – and your existing investment in them.
If you’ve never bought a book or movie online before in your life, then you are free to base your new tablet purchase on the above criteria. What does it look like? How does it perform? What does it cost?
But the number of people who fall into this category is rapidly diminishing. And that’s exactly what Google, Apple and Amazon want. Apple is an anomaly as they charge a premium price for their products regardless, but both Google and Amazon sell their tablet hardware with extremely low margins in order to get you into their eco-system and buy and rent their content – that’s where their long term revenue stream comes from.
Got a big collection of songs and videos in iTunes? Then you’re buying an iPad. Bought a load of books on Amazon? Then a Kindle tablet makes the most sense. The more this goes on, the harder it will be to change platforms. Month by month you’re digging your commitment into a specific platform further and further.
So, now when anyone asks me which tablet they should buy for Christmas or a birthday, my answer is usually “first, have you bought music and videos somewhere already?”. If they can answer that then the decision is mostly made for them.
And that is often enough – the difference in everyday “man on the street terms” between the hardware of the different tablets isn’t much any more.
Yes iOS is very different from Android, but the performance and size/weight differences between the iPad Mini 2 and the Kindle Fire HDX 7? Not so much.
What matters to most people more is, can I continue to use the 200 songs and 25 TV shows I’ve purchased?